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Hello all,

I wanted to ask for some advice. I was out on my bike earlier last week and was involved in an almost head-on collision with a vehicle.

I was cycling at a sensible speed, had a helmet on and was on a familiar route near my home. A driver emerged from a junction, and although I had my brakes covered and tried to swerve out of the path, the car carried on and hit me. My bike and I left the ground completely and I was thrown back from the bonnet of the car and into the road where I landed akwardly on my backside/lower back. I also badly hurt my right wrist when hitting the floor. My left leg was also in a lot of pain.

The driver fled the scene but luckily, a member of the public was already near me and took down the vehicle registration number. The police later located the driver and found him to be over the legal alchohol limit.

I was strechered to hospital but, miraculously, didn't suffer any broken bones. I'm bruised, battered and shaken up to the point that I have spent the last five days or so unable to walk around without a noticeable limp. I went back to hospital two days later as I started to develop pains and stiffnes in my next. A doctor examned me and told me that I have symtoms of whiplash. I have a strap on my right wrist. I have about 25-50% use in it but simple things such as opening a jar of pasta sauce, turning on a tap or tieing my shoelaces are not possible at present.

A family friend collected my bike from the scene and I only got round to seeing it briefly a day or so ago. The front wheel is buckled and the handlebars are not in line. It also has some scuff marks and the left hand pedal is badly scratched up.

I've only owned my carbon bike for two weeks and as the only non-carbon components are the wheels, groupset and chain. The manufacturer offers a crash replacement policy and in both their manual and on their website, they talk of replacing all carbon components for my own safety if I have been involved in a critical incident.

The thing is, I just don't feel safe even thinking about riding that bike again and I'm just in such a mess both physically and mentally that I'm not sure how long it's going to take me to get back on the bike. I have to get better first and that's going to take time. My head is a complete blur at times and I suffer from back ache, headaches and loss of concentration.

I know a few people will say that if my bike doesn't show any cracks visibly, that it will probably be ok to ride. I have read that carbon is very good at conceling stress damage and I just wouldn't feel safe on that frame anymore. The handlebars and seatpost are carbon and I just don't know what to do or where to turn next.

It's taken me days to consider putting this together and I just can't believe this has happened to me.

12 comments

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Jimboakimbo [12 posts] 11 months ago
2 likes

Good grief! Such an ordeal!

Sounds like you were lucky not be seriously injured  

I doubt I'd be confident riding a carbon bike that has had  that kind of punishment!

Whats happening with the driver?

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Yorkshire wallet [2057 posts] 11 months ago
4 likes

Never mind the bike fella, get the body sorted first. Don't be tempted to get back on too soon as you'll probably end up carrying injury for longer in the long run.

I hope the driver gets what's coming to them and you make a full physical and financial recovery!

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StraelGuy [1444 posts] 11 months ago
1 like

Are you a member of any cycling groups that offer legal assistance? If you are it may worth making contact in case there any issues getting your kit replaced or any compensation you may be due. Other than that, what YW said - get well soon!

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don simon [2327 posts] 11 months ago
0 likes

Concentrate on yourself. A bike is a bike and you can work out the details later. I would hope that you could make a claim for personal injury, loss of earnings and replacement of all damaged items (bike, clothing, helmet, etc.) from the driver's insurance policy. That's what it's there for.

Give yourself time to recover physically and the head will follow.

Good luck.

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Rapha Nadal [847 posts] 11 months ago
1 like

Prosecute the fucker.

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srchar [868 posts] 11 months ago
2 likes

Hope you recover well, the driver is prosecuted and your bike is sorted out. I'd be looking for a complete new replacement from the driver's insurer given the age of the bike (although it's not a given that the driver has insurance nowadays).

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fenix [1002 posts] 11 months ago
0 likes

If you've not got your legal team sorted out yet get to it. These things take time. I can recommend Bike Line. They've got good results for pals of mine. I think the frame will be written off. Not worth taking the risk.

Get onto them tomorrow and heal well.

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BehindTheBikesheds [2033 posts] 11 months ago
1 like

Check your home insurance policy to see if you have legal cover included, if not there are a few cycling specific solicitors that have good reputations you can contact.

If you're concerned about the bike, have it inspected by an expert with the proper kit, this can go on to the costs against the defendent. if any uncertainty with respect the bike then a new replacement should be in order.

log everything, pain you're suffering throughout the day, thoughts/stress about going cycling again (yes you can vlaim for that aspect to as 'injury') so the mental anguish etc. Also costs you incur no matter how trivial you think, even your friend collecting the bike, taking the bike to a shop/posting it to a specialist, time off work, having to pay for a taxi to get you somewhere, home delivery costs for groceries because you're unable to go out unaided etc.

make sure police keep you fully informed (they often don't) and also with respect to what they are going to prosecute with.

this should be causing serious injury through dangerous driving (A more serious offence than just drink driving) He should also get done for leaving the scene of an incident the excess alcohol and leaving the scene should up the starting tariff for a jail sentence (& frankly that's what should be coming to this person) as they are aggravating circumstances.

below is directly from the .GOV website so I would most definitely say that this case is as I described above and push the police that he be charged with such as a bare minimum.

Hope you recover both mentally and physically, for me when I was hit and run and previously hit and sustained a non serious but still very painful injury, it was just a case of getting back on the bike. I knackered my wrist/fractured elbow in an off due to the fault of another and I just rode one handed for a while at a more sedate pace. Don't think about it too much, just get back on the horse when you feel physically ready to. Hopefully the rest will be like riding a bike.

https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/p_to_r/road_traffic_offences_guidance_on_pr...

The following examples of circumstances that are likely to be characterised as dangerous driving are derived from decided cases and the SGC Definitive Guideline:

racing or competitive driving;
failing to have a proper and safe regard for vulnerable road users such as cyclists, motorcyclists, horse riders, the elderly and pedestrians or when in the vicinity of a pedestrian crossing, hospital, school or residential home;
speed, which is particularly inappropriate for the prevailing road or traffic conditions;
aggressive driving, such as sudden lane changes, cutting into a line of vehicles or driving much too close to the vehicle in front;
disregard of traffic lights and other road signs, which, on an objective analysis, would appear to be deliberate;
disregard of warnings from fellow passengers;
overtaking which could not have been carried out safely;
driving when knowingly suffering from a medical or physical condition that significantly and dangerously impairs the offender's driving skills such as having an arm or leg in plaster, or impaired eyesight. It can include the failure to take prescribed medication;
driving when knowingly deprived of adequate sleep or rest;
driving a vehicle knowing it has a dangerous defect or is poorly maintained or is dangerously loaded;
using a hand-held mobile phone or other hand-held electronic equipment whether as a phone or to compose or read text messages when the driver was avoidably and dangerously distracted by that use; R v Browning (2001) EWCA Crim 1831, R v Payne [2007] EWCA Crim 157;
driving whilst avoidably and dangerously distracted such as whilst reading a newspaper/map, talking to and looking at a passenger, selecting and lighting a cigarette or by adjusting the controls of electronic equipment such as a radio, hands-free mobile phone or satellite navigation equipment;
a brief but obvious danger arising from a seriously dangerous manoeuvre. This covers situations where a driver has made a mistake or an error of judgement that was so substantial that it caused the driving to be dangerous even for only a short time.

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Merchant of Cool [13 posts] 11 months ago
0 likes

Contact Leigh Day....They work for British Cycling and the the British Triathlon Federation. They are happy to take on cases like this...They do No win No Fee and DO NOT take any compensation you get. I can highly recommend them from experience.

https://www.leighday.co.uk

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Jimmy Ray Will [921 posts] 11 months ago
0 likes

Shit times.

Personally, I'd be looking to throw a leg over a bike as soon as possible. Just for ten minutes, so it doesn't become such a big thing at a later date. 

Whilst you won't feel this way right now, whats happened to you is incredibly rare, so much so that the statistical chance of it happening again are negligable. What I'm saying is that you can rest easy, you've had your big smack.. what awaits you is years of incident free cycling. 

As for prosecution.... I feel you may have a sense of injustice coming. I am assuming that unless the police found the car with the driver in it and driving, that they will be unable to prove who was driving the car that hit you. Likewise, they won't be able to prove that the driver was drunk at the time. 

Therefore, I would definitely go for the cash, as it will be the only justice I believe you can get. 

 

 

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Daz333 [2 posts] 11 months ago
2 likes

A massive thank you to everyone that has commented. In the time since the incident, I have been making a recovery and whilst I can't go into too much detail about the legality surrounding everything until the case, I'm happy to say that his insurance have paid out for my bike and I'm currently in the process of getting the receipts together for other things such as my shoes etc.

I went out on the bike for the first time yesterday and it felt so weird. I had to do it sometime though and I was happy that I've made the very first, small steps in the right direction.

Thank you again for all of your support, kind words and advice. It really is appreciated.

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alansmurphy [1832 posts] 11 months ago
0 likes

If you can find a spare bit of money and a second hand turbo trainer, this will help you immensely. Following a shoulder operation this week I have managed 35 miles on the turbo. The painkillers, temperature and all the ills with indoor training means I have to go steady. I've a 100 mile charity ride in 3 weeks and hopefully proving the legs are still willing...